Stinging Nettle and Lemon Pesto

Stinging Nettle Pesto

This is a really easy recipe for stinging nettle pesto with a strong lemon and garlic kick. It can be made in large batches and frozen for later by freezing it in ice cube trays and then popping the cubes into a Ziploc bag.

We like this pesto for pizza sauce or with spaghetti noodles and blistered veggies like tomatoes, peas, and peppers. It is also great with salmon. We think pesto is good with just about anything.


  • Stinging Nettle leaves – 4 cups packed or approximately 4.0 oz.
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts – almonds, walnuts or pine nuts are great
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For instructions on getting stinging nettle in the first place, see our article about How to Harvest Stinging Nettle.

  1. Make an ice water bath in a large bowl to the side. Blanch the stinging nettle by boiling it for 1 minute in salted water. Remove nettle and immediately submerge it in the ice water for 1 minute.
  2. Drain the nettle in a colander pressing down to get most of the water out.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

That’s it! This pesto is great for pasta, pizza, fish, sandwiches, or anywhere you like to use traditional pesto.

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